Lars Larson: Is our homeland any safer?

Remember all those years during the Bush Administration? There were attacks by Al-Qaeda on foreign soil but after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania, none on our own soil.

Well, that appears to be changing. The Christmas Day bomber, Ft. Hood, Major Hasan and now we’ve got the two mystery flyers who were arrested in Amsterdam.

We don’t know much about them. Muslims names—that’s one clue, luggage with what appear to be fake or mock bombs packed inside and bulky clothing. There is a lot of other weirdness, like cell phones taped together.

It might be a dry run. It might be the real-deal. It might just be that the Obama Administration is not very good at spotting this stuff until the guys have already gotten on board the planes.

That is having exactly the kind of affect the terrorists hoped that it would have.

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  • Rupert in Springfield

    And lets not forget about our latest Al Gore inspired domestic eco terrorist James Jay Lee, who took hostages at the Discovery Channel HQ after his idea for a television show was rejected. Sadly, probably not the last in a long line of these loons.

  • Gerd McTanahan

    Well Lars, everyone knows that the real enemy is the Tea Partiers! Not only that, why would Barrack Hussein Obama have any sympathy for Muslim terrorists anyway? He’s a good Christian boy.

    • Anonymous

      That’s a nice one, calling a black man “boy”. And you guys wonder why you’re suspected of being racists?

      • Gerd McTanahan

        That’s right we’re only suspected, because everyone know that the real racists are idiots such as yourself…boy!

        • Anonymous

          You sound like a real nice guy. A real good advertisement for the cause.

          • Gerd McTanahan

            Why does sounding nice matter? Are you saying that only socialists and idiots can be mean? Get real, go f**k yourself, and maybe I’ll be nice once parasites such as yourself are no longer running things.

          • Anonymous

            Are you a plant from ACORN or something?

          • Gerd McTanahan

            Aw schucks. Ya got me! I’m from ACORN!…boy!

  • Anonymous

    I would just point out that, unlike the 9/11 attackers, the terrorists, suspected terrorists and might-be terrorists that Lars mentions were all CAUGHT before they hurt anybody.

    Number killed by terrorists on American soil under G.W. Bush: 3,000

    Number killed by terrorists on American soil under Obama: 0

    ‘Nuf said.

    • Jack

      Number killed by terrorists on American soil under Obama: 0

      Acutally the number is 15, 14 in Ft. Hood and 1 in Arkansas.

  • Bob Clark

    I think we are becoming increasingly vulnerable to more terrorist attacks. But it may by years because the Bush 2 doctrine of taking it to the enemy has Al Quaeda still on the defensive, and to his credit Bama is slow to drop the offensive although at times his effort seems half hearted. Maybe shouldn’t blame Bama too much about his luke warm support of the Bush 2 offensive doctrine, because the latter was implemented chaotically. Getting Bin Laden was problematic, and should’ve been a CIA type operation. Iraq is still in need of a strong man I believe, and we had one in Hussein albeit one in serious decline.

    I sure don’t like Bama and Clinton pussy footing with the Russians given their efforts to take over former soviet republics such as Georgia and the Ukraine. But even here this is one of the costs of being in Afganistan. We need the Russians to continue fighting in Afganistan.

    Terroism is very messy to deal with, and continues to require a full court press I don’t think Bama fully recognizes. So, this is why I think the odds grow of another hit from terrorists.

  • leinad

    “Muslim names-that’s one clue”

    You are a xenophobic crackpot, Lars. Someday you, and the rest of your ilk, (i.e. Beck, Palin, O’Reilly, etc…) will realize that your words are more dangerous than any terrorist.

    • Anonymous

      So when was the last time people with names like Beck etc. blew up an airliner?

      • valley p

        Well there was that Timothy McVeigh character who blew up a building and killed 160 or so innocent people. And there were those militia guys in Ohio a few months back who were plotting to start a revolution by shooting up a police station. I think their names were exotic things like Bill, Hank and Fred.

        So if I get Lars right, every president is entitled to one oops my bad, resulting in oh…3000 dead people, as long as after that there are no further events for the rest of the term? Does this mean Obama is entitled to a mulligan if and when one of these plots succeeds?

        • Anonymous

          The poster (not me) asked about airliners, if we are reading the same thing.

          And the post by Larson — I’m not a fan — was about al Qaeda, airliners, 9/11 related stuff. Maybe you can write a post about McVeigh-type stuff. Most people get it about the connection between Islam and the terror threats we face. Very few people worry about McVeigh types or backwoods revolutionaries getting their hands on nuclear weapons. A lot of people worry about Islamists doing that, and with very good reason. They get it, but they should actually worry more than they do.

          And 9/11 was Bush’s “bad”? I don’t think most people viewed it that way. We had been very lax, not believing such a thing could happen, but going back a long time, at least to Clinton. (Remember the first WTC bombing? The feckless efforts to go after al Qaeda?) If they had tried to pull it off a year earlier, who knows what would have happened, but I don’t see that there was anything in place, e.g. in the airline business, that would have worked remotely better than things did 9/11.

          • valley p

            “Very few people worry about McVeigh types or backwoods revolutionaries getting their hands on nuclear weapons.”

            What makes you think McVeigh would not have used a nuke if he had gotten his hands on one?

            “And 9/11 was Bush’s “bad”? I don’t think most people viewed it that way.”

            Bush was president when it happened. If it happens again under Obama, who are you going to blame? Where does the buck stop?

          • Anonymous

            McVeigh did not have access to nuclear weapons. al Qaeda, Hizbollah, Hamas, etc very well might. From a radicalized Pakistan, or Iran, or who knows where. You don’t understand that?

            Bush (and the rest of us) woke up very fast when 9/11 happened. It was the same after Pearl Harbor. Nobody blamed FDR (except for a bunch of right-wing nuts, the mirror image of people like yourself).

            We’ve had 9 years to learn from 9/11. If another big attack happens, I guarantee people will blame whoever is President.

            Actually, LL isn’t blaming Obama for much of anything, yet. But he gets it that there’s a connection between Muslim names and arrested would-be terrorists. Don’t you?

          • valley p

            Its a good thing McVeigh did not have access. So far, neither does al Queda et al, and as far as I can see our president, who has a “Muslim sounding name,” is doing everything he can to keep such weapons away from these guys. He is doing a lot more than Lars, I can assure you that. Yet its quite possible someday, if this conflict continues long enough, that some radical Muslim group will get a hold of a nuclear or other devastating weapon and will find a way to smuggle it into New York or DC and if they can detonate it they will make a mess.

            We have had 9 years since 9/11. What have we learned? That there is a network of loosely affiliated Islamic radicals and some nutty individuals who are willing to die and kill for their cause. And there is no sign they are going away soon. Why would they? God is on their side after all. We have also learned (I hope,) that invading and occupying Muslim countries to get at well dispersed terrorists is an expensive, bloody, and not very effective way to handle things.

            I think the focus on “Muslim names” is a bit ridiculous. How long before an Islamic radical group changes their names to Billy Bob and Skipper, dyes their hair blond, puts in blue contact lenses and waltzes through airport security? Or just drives a well packed truck into Times Square?

            The fact is, defending against terrorism 100% is impossible. They only have to succeed once. We have to succeed 100% of the time. So another attack is not only possible, it is inevitable. Live your life and stop cowering.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >Bush was president when it happened. If it happens again under Obama, who are you going to blame? Where does the buck stop?

            Unless of course something does happen under Obama, like the deficit skyrocketing, and unemployment going from 8% to 10% under his watch, then of course its still all Bush’s fault.

            Please, don’t insult our intelligence with your lack of the same.

          • valley p

            Rupert, to insult your intelligence would be to acknowledge you have any. When in doubt change the subject, that is your strategy…if one can even call it that.

            But I’ll take the bait. Bush left Obma with $1.4 billion 2009 deficit, a collapsing financial industry, a collapsed auto industry, and the economy losing 750,000 jobs a month. That is a pace not seen since the 1930s.

            So yeah…Obama had to increase the deficit even further to prop up the sinking ship of state. He is responsible for the decisions to employ Keynes. And he is responsible for not employing enough Keynes to prevent unemployment from siting as far as it did. So he will lose seats this election because things have not gotten better fast enough. That is as it should be.

            Your problem, if you ever stopped your mouth long enough to think about it, is that you and your party, who got us into this mes in the first place, have no solutions. None, zip, nada. So if you win power back, on day 2 you will be lost. You will have half your party trying to kill social security while cutting taxes for the rich and the other half trying to start a war with Iran while cutting the budget. That should all work out real nicely and fix the terrible deficit you belatedly discovered in short order.

          • valley p

            “siting” as far as it did meant to be “sinking…”.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >When in doubt change the subject, that is your strategy

            Well, since I didn’t change the subject, but rather addressed your inconstancy head on, not much point in reading the rest of your babble.

            It was just an ill thought out pop off on your part, live and learn Dean.

          • valley p

            The subject Rupert, was homeland security and terrorism and Muslim names. No one brought up the deficit until you. Unless you are pulling an “everything is related to everything” argument, which is a tautology, you changed the subject.

            Live and learn is a good idea. You should try that.

          • Anonymous

            “Very few people worry about McVeigh types or backwoods revolutionaries getting their hands on nuclear weapons.”

            Whether you’re killed with a nuclear bomb or a fertilizer bomb, you’re just as dead.

          • Anonymous

            OK, so a fertilizer bomb is as dangerous as a nuclear bomb. I get it now!

          • Anonymous

            “Remember the first WTC bombing?”

            Yes. I remember Clinton caught the perps and put them on trial.

            Where’s Osama?

          • Anonymous

            Yes, they went on trial, and then we promptly went back to sleep.

            Where’s Osama? Do you know? It’s said that Clinton had a chance to take him out and passed. But that was a while back. You expect the President to keep track of him? Then ask Obama.

          • valley p

            The evidence is that Obama is hunting down Osama in the right place. Iraq was clearly the wrong place. Obama is winding down the Iraq war and redeploying assets in Osama’s neighborhood. Don’t be surprised if Osama ends up on the business end of a drone strike pretty soon. We did capture al Queda’s number 3 in Pakistan not long ago. Didn’t hear a peep about that on Catalyst, but it happened nonetheless.

          • eagle eye

            Will be pleased to see his head on a pike! Until then, there is no “evidence”. For myself, I’m well aware that they got someone recently. I don’t exactly see why that is news for the OC to publicize. You know, during the Bush era they got a number of big guys too. For example, Saddam Hussein.

          • valley p

            No evidence? We have 70,000 more soldiers in Afghanistan than we did when Obama was elected. We have the nation’s best general in charge over there. We have had the Pakistan army actually fighting against al Queda and the Taliban instead of ignoring them. We have had multiple Taliban and al Queda leaders killed by drones. There is plenty of physical evidence that Obama has shifted resources to the place where it all began. Whether this all works or not remains to be seen. Given the long history of failed Afghan adventures, have my doubts. But I don’t have any good alternative to offer.

            They did not just get “someone”. They got number 2 Afghan Taliban leader, as in 1 tick away from number 1. And they did not kill him. They captured him. This suggests the noose is tightening. They also got the number 1 Pakistani Taliban leader in a drone strike.

            Yes, Bush did get Saddam. Of course Saddam did not attack or threaten us, nor was he even directing the Iraq insurgency. But we did get him nonetheless.

          • eagle eye

            Whatever, just show me his head on a pike when you have it.

            We got a lot others in Iraq, al Qaeda people who moved in to fight the invaders.

            You are delusionary if you think things are going well in Afghanistan. You must be a real Obama believer.

            Iraq was bungled, but in the long run, it may look better, I think it already is. Saddam was widely regarded as a huge threat; just re-read the old quotes from the Clintons, Bidens, etc etc. In contrast, Bush probably did better with Afghanistan i.e. he didn’t got us bogged down in an occupation/nation-building quagmire/fantasy.

            If Saddam was still in power, we would now be frightened to death of a nuclear arms race between Iraq and Iran. We at least took care of the first piece of that.

          • valley p

            Well, I don’t think things are going well in Afghanistan. I think they are going the opposite of well. I just don’t have any better ideas. A long piece in the Atlantic sums up the situation pretty well.

            http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/09/elements-of-a-us-strategy-toward-afghanistan/62436/

            I think Obama made the least bad of a set of bad choices in Afghanistan. If that makes me a “believer,” so be it.

            On Iraq, what is done is done. I would opt for the lives and limbs and treasure to have not been lost to achieve a dubious objective over a pipsqueak foe. I could never prove this, but had we not invaded Iraq we more than likely would have been done with Afghanistan by now and would have had bin Laden a long time ago. We took our eye off the right ball and put it on the wrong one, leaving the job unfinished.

            Iran was ready to deal with us. Bush thought he could intimidate them with a decapitation of Saddam, hanging out a you are next sign on the corpse. It didn’t turn out that way, so now we have a more powerful Iran that knows how to defeat us or at least stalemate us. We made a bigger monster by getting rid of the smaller one. We got involved in nation building in the wrong place for the wrong reasons. A strategic error of monumental consequences.

          • eagle eye

            “Iran was ready to deal with us.”

            If only that were true.

            If I had the slightest confidence that Obama was doing what is needed to deal with Iran, I would feel a lot better about him. Ditto with Bush at the end, for that matter. But I don’t think Obama has the slightest idea. I have zippo confidence. And he’s had a couple of years now, nearly. Time is running out.

          • valley p

            What do you think he should do?

          • eagle eye

            Probably listen to the Israelis, for a start. If Bush had done that with Iraq, things woud have been a lot different. (Contrary to a lot of nonsense that has been written, Prime Minister Sharon warned him what he was getting into, was not enthusiastic — even way back then, the Israelis were well aware that Iran was the big enchilada).

            If they won’t give up their weapons program, it needs to be destroyed, one way or another. A revolution there would probably be preferable, but if that doesn’t do the trick, bomb the program to oblivion. Bottom line.

          • valley p

            “Probably listen to the Israelis, for a start.”

            Yeah…well that is largely what has gotten us into the middle east mess to begin with. I would prefer that we look out for our own interests, and let the Israelis attend to theirs. If the Israelis were counseling us to attack Iran instead of Iraq, well that would not have gone very well either. In fact it probably would have gone a whole lot worse since Iran has 3 times Iraqs population.

            “Bombing the program” means bombing Iranian cities. “The program” is not out in the desert somewhere. It is well dispersed and deeply underground. They aren’t idiots. You are advocating killing many innocent people to maybe and maybe not stop a threat that has not even materialized. We lived with Soviet bombs for decades, out waited them, and eventually they changed. The Iranian regime is a temporary problem. If we attack, we make it a much longer term problem. If they know they will be obliterated after using a bomb they will not use one. And make no mistake, Israel, if not us, would destroy them if they acted first. Iranians know that.

            If we bombed Iran tomorrow, they would have 50,000 US troops hostage in Iraq and another 100,000 hostage in Afghanistan. What we don’t need is yet another war front opened up based on a potential maybe someday threat to Israel. I doubt anyone in our own military hierarchy is advocating bombing Iran.

  • Founding Fathers

    “Muslims names”

    You’d think that Lars would proof read a short little post like this one.

  • Founding Fathers

    The Iraq war has done severe damage to our standing in the world, as well as drained our treasury. For all of Lars’ bluster about being concerned about spending, he hasn’t seemed to care one bit about the wasted dollars spent occupying another country.

    The Iraq war, as well as the reckless rhetoric of the Bush administration, has strengthened hardliners in Iran, and made Iran a much stronger power in the region. Remember, after the 9/11 attacks one of the largest pro-U.S. demonstrations was in Tehran, presumably filled with people with “Muslims names”.

    People like Lars attacked those of us who correctly said that Iraq did not have nuclear weapons, did not have chemical weapons, and did not have biological weapons. He attacked our patriotism, even though we were speaking the truth and he was parroting the lies of the Bush administration.

    Lars was once a great reporter. Now he’s a 2-bit hack.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >The Iraq war has done severe damage to our standing in the world, as well as drained our treasury.

      What in the world are you on?

      First of all, in the local region, Saddam was kicking out our inspectors and shooting at our planes in the no fly zone long before the war started, hardly a lot of respect there. Second it was Obama, not Bush, who got a signed declaration from the EU saying “the relationship wasn’t working”. Obama hasn’t done anything for our standing. If you haven’t noticed, the Russians are pretty much running the show with the Iranian reactor.

      Second – you are truly out to lunch if you thinking the Iraq war drained our treasury. Obama spent the entire cost of the Iraq war in about ten minutes on a stimulus bill that increased unemployment two points over the 8% he claimed unemployment would be held to if we spent the money.

      The Iraq war was a pittance compared to what Obama spends so forget about that one.

      >The Iraq war, as well as the reckless rhetoric of the Bush administration, has strengthened hardliners in Iran

      Hardly. Remember, you guys were the ones who made fun of Bush when the NIE report claimed Iraq had abandoned its nuclear program in 2003.

      A few months into the war and Iran supposedly gave up its nuclear program? Thats hardly strengthening hardliners.

      Oh, and lets not forget Libya – I think it was a few weeks into the war when Gaddafi said “let’s talk”

      Seriously, the “strengthened hardliners in Iran” chestnut is so easy to shoot down Im surprised you bothered with it.

      >Remember, after the 9/11 attacks one of the largest pro-U.S. demonstrations was in Tehran, presumably filled with people with “Muslims names”.

      Yep, and remember one of those pro US, or at least pro Democracy demonstrations in Iran was just about a year ago.

      Therefore, with all these major pro democracy demonstrations going on in Iran, your claim that the Iraq war strengthened Iranian hardliners really becomes a little silly. As I said, its one of the easiest liberal chestnuts to shoot down.

      Actually with regard to those demonstrations, what strengthened the Iran hardliners was probably the Obama administrations total sell out of the demonstrators. While they were demonstrating last year what did Obama say?

      He claimed it was an internal matter for Iran and essentially none of our countries business.

      Now that, is inspiring to hardliners, so of course they shot them.

      Did you have any concern about Iranian hardliners then? Probably not would be my guess. It just simply wasn’t a Bush bashing opportunity. Clearly Obama was utterly feckless in that moment and there was no way you could blame Obamas incompetence on Bush. Where was all your concern over Iranian hardliners then?

      Look, the bottom line is you guys won and you need to get over it.

      No one for a moment believes blaming Bush will lend sudden competency to the Obama administration in dealing with Iran. You might want to continue to do that, but the rest of the country has moved on.

      Two years of “It’s all Bush’s fault” while spending us into oblivion has gotten your party to where you are now. You want to keep doing that? Fine by me, see you in November.

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